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Interviews

Janne Melkersson

April 16, 2015

- DSC05050 v2What is your first memory on shoes?

When I got a pair of football shoes at the age of 7.

What memories do you have of your first order?

It was a pair of boots  from 1980.

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Can you tell us more about your father legacy?

Since both my grandfather and my father where in the trade I wanted to work with shoes like them. I started in the trade back in 1976 at a friend of my fathers repair shop. In 1979 I was lucky to be an apprentice at an orthopedic shop in Norrköping. It was an three years apprenticeship. Since it was an orthopedic shop the main thing was the fit and function. We really learnt that the lasts comes first. Which still is my focus.

When I started I did not see that in the late part of my career would mainly be making bespoke shoes. I thought that I would stay in the orthopedic trade all my career.

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How would you describe a typical day of a shoemaker?

Well, I can only speak for my self but my day in the shop starts at 9 a clock and stops about 18 with a couple of breaks for lunch and coffee. I use to work on one pair from start to finish without working on another pair. When I have a student in shop he/she will have all my attention.

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Which other shoemakers do you like?

It is hard to choose but I like all that are doing their best and strive to make the next pair a bit better then the one before.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Making the last.

In bespoke shoemaking is customer always right?

Of course not! But they have the right to order what they want. If I can meet their requests we have a deal. I think that bespoke service is to meet, as much as possible, the clients requests. It is not the shoes that make a man a Gentleman. That said, I believe that a man can wear any style of shoes as a Gentleman.

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Where do you source the leather to make the shoes?

I get most of my leathers from Koldeleder in Wienna and Crack & Sons England.

How many people work in your workshop?

I work alone in the workshop.

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What was the most extravagant shoe that a client has ever ordered?

A pair of Norwegian welted tall boots, higher then the knee, for a lady would ride through America from Mexico to Alaska.

What shoe would like to make in the future that you have not made yet?

I like to make boots and there are some side seamed boots I would like to try.

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What is your favorite shoe ever?

I don’t have any favorite shoe other then plain. Plain is beautiful.

What shoe style do you prefer the most?

A plain Derby or an plain Oxford.

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What are your favorite places to spend your evenings?

The kitchen table.

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

As for creatively, a challenge in the shop like a tricky foot. Spiritually, a ceremony in church and emotionally when my kids tell me I am the best pancake maker ever 🙂

What turns you off?

Greediness and evil.

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What is your favorite curse word?

I don’t curse.

What sound or noise do you love?

Listen to dear ones sleeping

What sound or noise do you hate?

The air compressor.

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What profession would you not like to do?

Plumbing.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Welcome home son.

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www.melkershoes.com